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using a rain sheet all winter....

This is a discussion on using a rain sheet all winter.... within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Layer under rainsheet horse
  • What temperatures are rain sheets good

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    01-02-2012, 01:08 PM
  #11
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wallaby    
Nope, not a good idea.

A blanket (no matter the weight) is going to flatten down the hair that a horse needs to raise to keep warm. Therefore, if you just stick a rain sheet on your horse you're going to be effectively incapacitating their natural ability to use their own body heat to warm themselves.
The reason blankets are different weights (different amounts of fill) is to replace the amount of heat that would have been collected by the hair, had it not been flattened by the blanket.

If you blanket appropriately for the temperature (aka blankets of the correct weight/fill level for the temperature) your horses will be warm and dry. If you just stick a rain sheet on, without a thought to the outside temperature, you'll be making your horses colder than they already were. Horse hair does a great job of keeping the hair layer closest to the horse dry, so even when the outside layer is soaking wet it's likely that your horse is actually feeling dry.

As long as they have plenty of hay and shelter to access if they need it, they'll be fine.

If you really want to blanket your horses, go buy some cheap blankets that are correct for the temperatures you're experiencing. If you take the time to look, it's not hard to find something for $50 or so (sometimes under if you look for "Tough-1"s).

Good luck! I completely understand about hating to see horses standing out in the rain. I have the same concern so I blanket my mare all winter. :)
Ditto to this! Untill it gets too cold in for my softy of a TB she only gets a rug if its windy, rainy and she has no access to shelter, and then I put on a medium weight to keep her toasty warm
     
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    01-02-2012, 01:13 PM
  #12
Foal
There are a lot of differing opinions! I guess in a nutshell, I should only use the rain sheet when I know that there is a very good chance of rain, and only use it during that time. Otherwise, let them be.
Skyseternalangel likes this.
     
    01-02-2012, 01:55 PM
  #13
Foal
Right now my horse has his blanket on 24/7 unless it's warm during the day. He's a baby and shivers and doesn't grow that great of a winter coat...even though he is out 24/7 unless there is extremely bad weather. Also he doesn't have a run in or any shelter in the fields.

It's really up to you what you want to do with your horses. Is this the first winter you've considered putting blankets on them?
     
    01-02-2012, 03:30 PM
  #14
Foal
It is the first winter that I have had them outside 24/7. And I have to admit I am fretting. As I mentioned before, I do have a great shelter and water and free access to hay, but I still worry if it is raining a great deal (which it has been) and then the temperature drops, which it is tonight with a windchill it will be -25C......
     

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rain sheet, winter blanketing

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